Years ago I bought a box of Cuvee Stephi for the restaurant. It cost $86.00 and held the equivalent of thirteen bottles. Cuvee Stephi is a very enjoyable, fairly rugged wine and at that price and absent the risk of oxidation, I was set to make a fortune selling it $6.50 a glass, the proper price percentage if I were buying it by the bottle. That’s sixty-seven glasses at $6.50 = $435.50. From my $86.00 investment I saw a 20% cost of goods for a 400% return. Then the employees drank it. I sold around fifteen glasses. The rest helped make Sunday afternoon cleanings and late night prepping, basically anytime we were not open but work was being done, go by faster. I wanted to get another box and lock it up for the night or something, but of the ten boxes the distributor brought in, only my two (I bought one for my house) didn’t spring a leak. As far as they were concerned, experiment over.
That whole affair did convince me that very good wine in boxes, rather than being a vague subject that always included phrase “It’s very common in Europe,” is a real phenomenon. I have had Big House Red before and I think I see it for what it is meant to be: a very good Tuesday night wine. I think I’m using too many colons these days (in the first draft I wrote “I think I’m getting a thing for colons.”) It has raspberries on the front, cranberries and plums in the middle, and finishes with leather and a bit of pepper. Not world changing, but very nice. At $19.99 for a three liter box, any flaws are easily looked past. I think it’s a nice companion to Artes del Sur Sauvignon Blanc. At just under $5.00 a bottle, I’ll be glad to keep it around the house.
As far as food pairings, I would treat this like a pinot noir. I think it would go really well with a hamburger, but maybe that’s because I want a hamburger right now. It could easily work with tuna or salmon but I think there needs to be a direct relationship between the cost of a meal and the cost of the wine (do not even start a price doesn’t equal quality rant – price opens up options, that’s all I’m saying) so I might look to something else for that. Chicken, unless barbequed or slathered with anything else strong, would be nice as well.